Support DRM Free Music

In a departure from my normal stance on the subject, I think it is time people put a little money where their beliefs were and supported Amazon in its foray to DRM-free music downloads.

Amazon is selling MP3 music, free of any digital rights management crap, for as little as 59p a track. Now, for those of you who are used to music being free per track this might seem expensive, but it is cheaper than most of the services like iTunes – and more importantly this sells you the music in the right way… you are allowed to play it on your iPod, your Laptop, your old mp3 player etc. One of the things that used to constantly infuriate me (and ensure I would never actually pay for music there) on iTunes was the problem with how portable the music was.

I have an iPod, I have a phone that plays MP3s, I have a laptop, I have a car MP3 player, a windows PC, a linux PC and an MP3-enabled music station. If I buy a peice of music I am the person who chooses which device can play it, not Apple. When I had various CD or tape players, it was down to me as to which device was going to play the music. I didnt have to contact EMI for a new licence every time I bought a new cassette player so why should I start now?

None of this is meant to suggest the only reason people pirate MP3 tracks is to have more portability, but it is an element. It is important that companies like Amazon show iTunes et al., that giving the users choice can be a profitable business model. Is the brand name of iTunes really worth an extra 20p a track when you can only play the track on your iPod?

If you like the idea of DRM free music and if you think that 59p is close to a reasonable sum of money to pay for music you like, then please go to Amazon and download a track or two. It doesn’t have to be many! Unless people make the effort to purchase DRM-free music over DRM’d music, the industry will never change.

By the way – I am sure Amazon is not the only source of DRM free music at a reasonable price. Please feel free to advertise any other sources here. springs to mind, where are the others? Find one you like, and buy some music. Then tell your friends to buy some.

Footnote: I gain nothing by you buying things from Amazon. There is no affiliate-ID in the link. This is actually something I think is a good idea to support.

8 thoughts on “Support DRM Free Music

  1. Personally I still prefer to buy a CD and rip them to iTunes/my iPod. I know sideloading is illegal, but I think the price of individual downloadable tracks, or even a full album, isn’t worth it without having some kind of ‘hard copy’ (although I have another personal take on this too). Saying that, most of the stuff I like to listen to isn’t always or usually available from the big download services.

  2. At We7 we completely believe in DRM free music with variable pricing – but we also think you should be able to listen to what you buy with full track streaming before you buy it – so that’s what we allow our users to do!

    Steve Pudham
    CEO – We7

  3. Danny / Steve – thanks for the links.

    Null – I agree regarding the CDs, and sadly the music providers are going to concentrate their efforts on shifting profitable music. That said, if you buy DRM music at £3 an album, you can burn it to disk if you want! (Another bonus point for DRM-free music!)

    While I buy very little must online (I am largely into classical music and have a big enough collection already thanks), I hate the idea that future generations will be locked into rights managed music. I want my children to be able to buy music and use it in the same manner I did – even if that includes swapping songs with their friends. To this end, I think that giving DRM-free suppliers my custom (even if it is only 50p a year) is worthwhile.

  4. Personally, I just don’t like paying for MP3s. MP3 is a streaming format that I use on my music player and PC to save space. It’s not a thing I would buy, because if I’m going to pay for music I want all of it, not that part of it that some computer reckons I really need. Uncompressed music is totally futureproof, better quality, and already widely available. I don’t see any reason to start accepting anything less.

  5. Andrew – fair one but getting music that hasn’t been digitally corrected in at least some respect is getting hard and harder. Also, almost all my playback devices play in MP3 format meaning there is going to be some loss of audio quality – the effort involved in getting hold of uncompressed, pure audio, music isn’t (for me) worth it.

    That said, getting uncompressed, clear audio that is free of any DRM crap would be the gold standard to which we should strive.

  6. I’m with Andrew on this one. I stumbled on this site in my effort to buy UNCOMPRESSED DRM free music. I don’t want to buy compressed MP3s. I’d like to manage my uncompressed music and create MP3s myself if I need to in the same manner that I would turn the music on a CD in MP3s.

    I guess I can only continue to wish for this gold standard.

  7. You can still get uncompressed music, and it is normally 100% DRM free – vinyl records spring to mind. While it can be beautiful to listen to, getting it onto a computer is a pain in the backside unless you go for one of those USB turntable things.

    Any music you listen to in digital format is compressed to a greater or lesser degree.

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